200 Words with Paul Dini #30 – At the Feet of The Master

September 12, 2008

“What the hell are you doing?”

The question came from B. Buddy Bixley, head writer on a series of Tom & Jerry cartoons I worked on many years ago. He had caught me trying to rough out a gag sequence on a sketch pad. “Tom and Jerry are locked in a garage,” I pitched, displaying my pitiable cat and mouse stick figures. “So they start fighting each other with tools and auto parts when…”

“Whoa!” Buddy screamed, reacting as if I had apes on my head. “You’re writing on a sketch pad? A goddamn writer doesn’t write a goddamn cartoon on a goddamn sketch pad! I’ll show you how to write a goddamn cartoon!” Buddy swiftly produced an armload of paperbacks that included 101 Riddles for Kids and The Big Book of Knock-Knock Jokes. “Take it out of joke books,” Buddy winked. “Have them yell one-liners while they run around.”

“Uh, Tom and Jerry don’t talk…”

“So have the damn dog say the lines.” Buddy shrugged. “Or that other mouse. Better yet, let the artists figure it out. Life’s too short. Joke books. Like gold. Trust me,” He added, pausing at the door for emphasis, “I wrote staff on Laugh-In.”


Paul Dini is the Emmy and Eisner Award winning writer of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, Detective Comics, Countdown among many, many other things. You can find him online at either kingofbreakfast.livejournal.com or http://www.jinglebelle.com/.   


  1. HA!

  2. This sounds like a possible script for "All-Star Tom and Jerry #10"